March 29, 2016
Snow conditions are very good this year on Mt. Whitney. Our first climb of the season was able to summit in good weather. I participated in the second climb March 19-22.
I had planned to pass on Whitney this year, but the chance to climb with my younger son Jeremy who goes to school down in CA was all I needed to be convinced.
Our group was top notch! Premier SMI guides Tristan and Matt; Doug, a friend from past programs with daughter Amanda; and Brandon, another past IMG customer. Sadly, Llewellen, veteran of many climbs, broke his ankle at a ski area just before the climb and had to bow out.
The hike in was lovely (except for the 50+ pound packs), every day was warm and sunny. The only problem was the high winds advisory for summit day! We did our best, but an update of increasingly high winds put us on standby for summit day, and finally we opted to hike out a day early rather than risk having our camp torn apart by 65 mile an hour winds. The hike out was lovely, and so was the barbecued sandwich and beer down in Lone Pine for lunch.
On reflection, I had a wonderful time. I loved every minute of it. We all agreed to come back next year to make it to the top. I guess I’m in for another year!